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Why have you chosen to sew quilts?

Why have you chosen to sew quilts?

Old 11-22-2019, 02:16 PM
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Location: Illinois
Posts: 584

I have always loved sewing. When I wore business suits to work, it was worth my time to sew "designer" quality clothes for a fraction of what I could buy them for. Now that I'm retired and pretty much live in jeans and t-shirts or sweatshirts, it's not worth my effort to sew my own clothes, so I pretty much hadn't sewed for a few years. When my great nephew was born last year, I thought it would be nice to make a baby quilt. That was it - I was hooked. I enjoyed making that quilt so much, I've been making quilt after quilt for relatives, friends, Quilts of Valor, Ronald McDonald house, etc. I'm really enjoying my "new" hobby and the opportunity to learn new techniques, etc.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:25 PM
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My mom can do anything crafty-- sew, quilt, knit, crochet, etc. She really wanted to pass it all along to her kids, but we wanted nothing to do with it, myself included. While I appreciated what she can do, it wasn't "my thing" (I preferred reading, woodworking, etc).

As a young teen, I found out that my great-grandfather had made quilt tops for all of his great-grandchildren. My mom didn't have mine (or my little brother's). Then, in my early 20s, I found out my gramma still had ours, and she gave mine to me when she sold her big farmhouse (that my grampa built) to move to a smaller place. It became my goal to learn to hand quilt "when I had the time".

The time finally came when I was in my late 30s. I have a job that has a lot of down time, and as long as a project is somewhat portable, and can be dropped in an emergency, I can do it at work. So I sought out a group that could teach me to hand quilt (a group at the local senior center). My mom was also a great source, and I used her as well, but she didn't hand quilt often and hadn't done any for years. Anyway, I wanted to make sure I got practice before tackling my great-grampa's top.

I hadn't really touched a sewing machine since I did a small project in Jr High. I hand pieced a baby quilt (pretty simple since it was a panel), and then hand quilted that. Then I realized that there were other projects I wanted to tackle that would require the use of a sewing machine, so I finally gave in and attempted that again.

I'm finishing a large quilt for my parents (I posted it on here as I was making the top), which will have a mix of hand and machine quilting, due to time restraints and my choice of backing.

After my parent's quilt, I will finally hand quilt my great-grampa's. I'm looking forward to it!

I've been led to pick up several other crafts for "practical reasons". Like, my mom knits the best socks in the world, and keeps me well-stocked, but now I have to learn to knit socks too. So I did. She had me knit about a 3 x 4 inch piece, then we unraveled it and she got me started with 5-needle-sock-knitting. She works at a Joann Fabrics, and I've been told by her coworkers and the women in my quilt group that she is excited that I've finally fallen in love with her crafts.

ETA: when I started, I only wanted to hand piece/quilt. But then I started using a sewing machine for other things, and it's just so much faster! Then our group made over 120 quilts for recipients of Meals on Wheels, and definitely needed a machine to accomplish all that (I only contributed a few, but the women in my group are seriously impressive and fast!) So now I hand quilt some, and machine quilt others.

Last edited by Sleepy Hollow; 11-22-2019 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:10 PM
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I had my Mom show me how to make a quilt top. I made a quilt for my first Daughter in 1966 or 1967. I have no idea what happened to it. Mom had never made an actual quilt. with five kids to raise alone and not enough time or space. I didn't know anything about tying or quilting it probably fell apart at first washing. I didn't attempt any more for several years. I finally found quilter's newsletter and they talked about making quilts and had some patterns. In the early 70's. I made some, I had been sewing clothes,pjs,some of my clothes, curtains, etc. I hand quilted 25 quilts. After our last grandson was born in 2002 I discovered rotary cutters,rulers and machine quilting. I bought quilting books and taught myself with their information how to actually make quilts.

All my kids, grandkids, great grandkids have several quilts, friends and tons of people I don't know have quilts I made. The last 3 or 4 years I make quilts for fosterkids in my county. I donated about30 to a local food pantry. I have probably made 400 - 500 quilts all total. Since I give them away I don't keep track of them. I have 5 or 6 for our bed.
My oldest granddaughter calls me a quilting machine. My oldest Daughter quilts, etc. too. A younger daughter (mother to oldest granddaughter) had other interests.

Last edited by Jingle; 11-22-2019 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:14 PM
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Several reasons. First, I love fabric/textiles. Always have, always will. Quilting gives me an excuse to buy it. Once I buy it, I have to use it, so, sooner or later, it becomes a quilt. Second, when I retired I needed serious 'decompression' from commitment to anything. I also needed something to do while I decompressed. Made my grandsons twin size bed spreads. Had no idea what I was doing, but they turned out ok - 12 years later, those bedspreads are still in use, so I couldn't have done too poorly.

Then my Mom went into her final 'decline' and needed someone with her 24 x 7. I wasn't working, so my DH and I became the care takers. Honestly, I enjoyed it. As one of 8 kids, I never had her to myself before that! But I am not the type who can just sit and watch TV all day, so I went to Walmart and bought some $2 fabric and made my first quilt. Mom was going to help me. This was her help: "I've forgotten more about quilting than you'll ever know!" She was right. She'd forgotten it. But she was an excellent quilt inspector.

After 2.5 years of non-commitment to anything other than my Mom and my grands, I decided I had to be part of the world again and joined two quilting groups. I have never looked back. My quilting is simple stuff - I'm color blind and quickly found out that quilts with a lot of different colors/fabrics confuse me and don't get finished. So I have a limit of about 4 fabrics per quilt. Added to that, I am impatient and want to get the quilts done quickly. I make lots of donation quilts, and grands and my kids are all recipients of quilts.

But it really boils down to the fact that I love fabric. And need an excuse to buy it.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:08 PM
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Location: Vancouver Island, Beautiful BC
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I do not just sew quilts. I sew tops, bras, home dec, pet beds. Sample quilt sandwiches turn into pet quilts.

I also crochet, cross stitch, garden, cook, and bake. I do to university full time and am working towards a professional designation.

I am far more than only a quilter.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:06 AM
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Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
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I make quilts because it makes me feel so good and it is a great hobby. It makes me feel so relaxed when I get to my sewing machine and can create something that is fun to do. I have done cross stitch, tole painting, crocheting and embroidery work but quilting just makes me feel good and relieves stress.
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:30 PM
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I grew up in a family of sewers and quilters so I started sewing early. Seeing and using beautiful quilts made by my DGM and DM I made one of my own and was hooked. I love color and love creating something of beauty. I love every step, finding a pattern choosing all the right fabric and watching it all come together. Then the joy and pride in it when it is finished.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:15 PM
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Location: Tavistock, Ontario, Canada
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Quilting is a creative outlet for me - even the ones I see in my head!
Used to love to sew but not usually for myself - and now fabric is so expensive. It's easier and cheaper to buy something to wear. But quilts are forgiving - they always fit something. And I like to play with scraps...
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:34 PM
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But do you ever sleep? I admire you for all that you are doing.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:39 AM
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I grew up beside my great grandmother, and she quilted, knitted and crocheted. I spent a lot of time with her and always wanted to quilt. Life got in the way because I was a career woman who did not have time to quilt. I did, however, have time to buy fabrics and attend guild meetings once per month. When I finally retired, I had time to quilt, and by then I had a room full of fabric and about every quilting gadget known to man, but better than that I had a place and the time to quilt. I do not do show quilts, but I make quilts as surprises for family and friends. It relaxes me--or at least it does if I am not ripping out the quilting from a queen sized quilt (1/2 of the quilt) because I found 2 wrinkles quilted into the backing.
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